“The path is made by walking it.”
The filmmaker Nicolas Philbert in the Guardian introduced me to the saying “the path is made by walking it”, a French philosophy of going into the unknown with no map or idea of a final destination. Philbert says:
“Basically I don’t know what I’m doing. I like to think I’m in control, but I’m not. We make films from our subconscious and there’s no way of anticipating what they will provoke in the minds of others.”
The Australian Aborigines have a concept of “walkabout” where as part of the rite of passage a young aborigine heads off into the wilderness in pursuit of the “songlines” of their ancestors. Jesus did an equivalent when he went into the Wilderness for 40 days and nights.
The French like Philbert produce considerable original creative output because of their “walkabout”. The USA and UK place value on money over meaning, so follow strict plans and targets; generally routes well walked by others, with no courage to experiment or try something new; thus the US and UK creative output often has the same unoriginal lifeless feel about it.
I like to go “walkabout” too. Many of my recent photographic projects was a “walkabout”, I went on random walks with a camera, then clicked whatever I found interesting. Sometimes I make the wild decision to go off for a few days to a destination with no plan on how to get there or what to do, ending in wild adventures into the unknown, the “undiscovered country” (Hamlet).
If you are looking for new ideas, a way of thinking outside of the box, a creative new approach, go “walkabout”.